Phillips, William Daniel, 1948–, American physicist, b. Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976. He has been a researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md., since 1978. Phillips shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji for the development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. These methods, which enable individual atoms to be studied in great detail and their inner structure to be determined, have increased our knowledge of the interplay between radiation and matter.
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